One of the most common frustrations early on in the thesis process is the need to choose a topic.You have to commit to something, you might even have a few ideas based on your interests or courses you've taken, but how do you know if your topic is right for a thesis?
Choosing a topic shouldn’t be taken lightly:
In the short term, your topic will determine who you choose to work with as your advisor, the remaining members of your thesis committee, and the amount of research you will need to do before you begin writing.
In the long term, it may influence your continuing interest in the field, determine your choice of PhD programs, and possibly even influence your prospects for jobs within and outside of academia.
Having said that, don't stress out about it too much. Your thesis is not intended to be your life's work. Rather, the aim of your thesis is for you to show:
To do this, your thesis does have to show some independent thinking. However, that doesn't mean that you have to come up with your own theory, or that you have to make a completely original contribution to human thought. There will be plenty of time for that later on in your career (if you decide to continue on and obtain your PhD).
An ideal thesis will be:
Need help choosing a topic or want to look at a few theses written by former students? Browse and read philosophy theses that were successfully defended in: ScholarWorks @ Georgia State University
In order to finish in a timely manner, it is best to:
A few things to consider when choosing a topic:
In writing your thesis, you will be assisted by the thesis committee, comprised of an advisor and usually, two other faculty members.
All members of your committee:
Regulations regarding the composition of the committee can be found here:
Basic regulations for composition of the thesis committee:
When choosing an advisor/chair find someone you know you can work with. It’s preferable if you’ve had the professor in a class previously, so you know how he or she works. Regardless, spend as much time with your advisor as possible to get a sense of his/her expectations and how you would work together.
Although not absolutely necessary, it’s helpful if your other committee members know something about the topic on which you plan to write.
Addenda and modifications to the basic regulations (from the Department of Philosophy):
Choosing a topic:
Choosing an advisor / committee: